29.08.2009 - 29.08.2009 22 °C
Off to the seaside – matsushimi bay of islands (one of the top three sites in japan apparently). Speedy train with many other Japanese visitors. Wandered off against the flow of Japanese and got a friendly wave and toot from a log trucker(!) Before reaching Oshima Island - v calm and beautiful - many carved standing stones & a small shrine.
Another island, Godaido, was home to a slightly disappointing botanical garden island, teeming with tourists. V impressed by it’s spiders and a squashed cicada we found though. Went in search of the ‘live oyster shop’s marked on the map but found some old people’s homes and a dead end harbour & lots of haunting buildings (have been reminded of when they went through the hatch on Lost several times!).
Managed to find our way back onto the beaten track in time to meet hoards of Japanese daytrippers at the seafood market. Matsushima is famous for it’s oysters & sendai for it’s ox tongue. We managed to kill two birds with one stone as it were with the throngs & tried both. Both nice, but didn’t seem v Japanese! We arked back by the Zuiganji Temple first built 828, rebuilt in 1609. Were lucky to get a personal guide keen to practice her English.
Also explored caves & shrine to the protector of unborn children before returning to sendai for a long hike up the wrong hill (we were expecting a city view, got instead a v good view of the driving training facility), stocking up on dinner from the 99yen store, enjoying the hotel onsen & then doing battle with the net trying to book Tokyo accommodation at the v v last minute!